Each country has established the program rules for both an Au Pair and a Host Family. In this post we have selected the core information you need to know about the au pairing experience in Switzerland.
Au Pair responsibilities in Switzerland
The main responsibility of an Au Pair is the Host Family’s children - taking care of kids, playing with them, taking them to different activities and classes. The applicant will also help with some light housework related to children. For example, cooking meals for them, ironing their clothes, etc.
The Au Pair is not a cleaning lady, thus he/she is not responsible for general cleaning and cooking for the whole family. To avoid possible misunderstandings, discuss the future responsibilities in detail and write them down in the contract.
Host Family responsibilities in Switzerland
Responsibilities of the Host Family include taking care of the Au Pair: providing required accommodation, food, the pocket money - these are mandatory program requirements. At the same time the family needs to help the participant to integrate in the local culture.
The Au Pair program in Switzerland has specific rules for both EU and Non-EU applicants, thus the Host Family needs to support them with all the documents required for a stay in Switzerland.
The Au Pair in Switzerland will work a maximum of 30 hours a week. Both parties need to discuss the schedule of the activities so everyone can manage their time better.
If the Au Pair needs to work extra hours, the Host Family has to arrange a fair compensation. Participants can convert these hours into the holidays later or get an extra payment depending on the agreement of both parties.
Au Pair salary in Switzerland
An Au Pair in Switzerland should earn a minimum amount of 500 - 800 CHF per month. This amount might slightly vary if the participants are working extra hours. This is one of the most important points of the contract, so make sure to discuss it before arrival.
Time off and holidays
In Switzerland, the participants have 4 weeks of paid vacation (5 weeks if the participants are under 20 years old). The participant should not be working during her/his vacation. Sometimes Host Families ask their Au Pair to join them for vacation. In this case, discuss whether both sides will consider it as a vacation or working hours. This will help both parties to avoid misunderstandings in future.
In addition to holidays, the participants will also have at least one full day off per week.
During the whole stay the Host Family is responsible to provide a private room and full board to the participant. This includes also meals with the family while an Au Pair is not working, on a vacation and when he/she is feeling sick and is not able to work.
The participant should not pay for the accommodation or food under any circumstances.
An Au Pair in Switzerland will have to take a part in a language course during the stay as it’s one of the program requirements. Since there are several languages spoken in Switzerland the participants are free to choose one of the spoken languages in the part of the country where the Host Family lives.
The language course will be partially covered by the Host Family. The participant will pay the remaining part. To ensure that the participant has time to attend the course regularly, both parties need to develop a schedule with daily activities.
Participants who need visa to Switzerland, have to make sure they can afford to register as an Au Pair through one of the agencies recognized by the SECO.